A Survey of the Almagest

With Annotation and New Commentary by Alexander Jones

  • Olaf Pedersen
  • Alexander Jones

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Olaf Pedersen
    Pages 11-25
  3. Olaf Pedersen
    Pages 26-46
  4. Olaf Pedersen
    Pages 47-93
  5. Olaf Pedersen
    Pages 94-121
  6. Olaf Pedersen
    Pages 122-158
  7. Olaf Pedersen
    Pages 159-202
  8. Olaf Pedersen
    Pages 203-235
  9. Olaf Pedersen
    Pages 236-260
  10. Olaf Pedersen
    Pages 261-294
  11. Olaf Pedersen
    Pages 295-328
  12. Olaf Pedersen
    Pages 329-354
  13. Olaf Pedersen
    Pages 355-390
  14. Olaf Pedersen
    Pages 391-407
  15. Back Matter
    Pages 408-480

About this book


The "Almagest," by the Greek astronomer and mathematician Ptolemy, is the most important surviving treatise on early mathematical astronomy, offering historians valuable insight into the astronomy and mathematics of the ancient world. Pedersen's 1974 publication, "A Survey of the Almagest," is the most recent in a long tradition of companions to the "Almagest." Part paraphrase and part commentary, Pedersen’s work has earned the universal praise of historians and serves as the definitive introductory text for students interested in studying the "Almagest." In this revised edition, Alexander Jones, a distinguished authority on the history of early astronomy, provides supplementary information and commentary to the original text to account for scholarship that has appeared since 1974. This revision also incorporates various corrections to Pedersen's original text that have been identified since its publication. This volume is intended to provide students of the history of astronomy with a self-contained introduction to the "Almagest," helping them to understand and appreciate Ptolemy’s great and classical work. From the reviews of "A Survey of the Almagest": “Pedersen has performed his analysis with great care and technical accuracy. … [The book] is written dearly and concisely. It certainly achieves its aim of making the 'Almagest' accessible and understandable to students of the history of astronomy.” – G. J. Toomer, Archives Internationales d’Histoire des Sciences “The organization of the 'Survey' … is done in such a brilliant style that makes the technically prohibiting text of the 'Almagest' an enjoyable reading within a clear historical perspective…” – George A. Saliba, Centaurus “['A Survey of the Almagest'] is a mine of well-organized, well-documented, carefully cross-indexed information. Indeed, the general reader will find it an eye-opening introduction to Greek mathematics…” – Victor E. Thoren, Isis


Almagest Early Astronomy History of Mathematics History of Physics Mathematical Astronomy Ptolemy

Authors and affiliations

  • Olaf Pedersen
    • 1
  1. 1.deceasedDenmark

Editors and affiliations

  • Alexander Jones

    There are no affiliations available

    Bibliographic information

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